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To transition, or not to transition? That Is The Question

Have you thought about transitioning from relaxed hair to your natural texture? Well, there are several ways to get to that point: Big Chop or long-term transition. . First, you need to determine what your goals are with going natural which will help you make your decision.

So let me explain both. A lot of ladies prefer to be a long term transitioner. Since most African American ladies haven’t worn their natural hair since maybe their pre-teen years, it can be a pretty difficult to understand your natural hair texture.

Ladies choose to become a long transitioner for many reasons. Some do it because they have never had short hair and do not want to chop their hair all off, some do it because they are nervous that they may not like their hair, some just want to keep their length, and there are various other reasons.  If you fall in the category where you don’t want to cut off your hair, you should probably look at long term transitioning options.

When growing your relaxer out, you are basically just letting your hair grow and not putting chemical straighteners on your “new growth”.  Little by little, you trim off the relaxer, but nothing drastic. This can be a difficult time. Imagine having curly hair at the roots and bone straight hair at the ends. I did it! I’m not going to lie…Long term transitioning is hard! There are ways to conceal the two textures though.

Twist outs work wonders to make both textures match. This consists of taking sections and twisting two sections around each other. Once the hair is dry, you unravel for a nice uniformed curl pattern. Some ladies opt to straighten their hair so all of their hair from root to tip is straight. This can present a problem though. You don’t want to alter the texture of your new growth before you are even fully natural! Use heat sparingly while transitioning!

Helpful Tip: A good time to do the majority of your transition would be in the Fall/Winter/Spring. Why? Because it’s not so hot and humidity is down (no more reversion). I had the hardest time trying to make my hair all look like one texture because I was transitioning throughout the summertime. It was ALOT of work. I really wasn’t prepared. Transitioning starting in the Fall is definitely easier. That gives you a good 9 months before its back to the sweltering heat. By that time, you will be a pro at transitioning styles! I’m not saying that is the only time to transition, but it definitely makes it easier for someone who is on the natural hair vs relaxer fence. Starting in the summer time just makes it a little harder for those who can easily be deterred. Transitioning is hard no matter what time of the year. It takes work but its SOOOO worth it when you are done.

The other option is a Big Chop. A big chop is when you cut your hair to a very short length (cutting off all of the relaxer at once) to let your hair grow back out. This is the “easy route” because you don’t have to worry about making your textures match and you don’t have to worry about the humidity making your roots poof back up. It’s literally just cutting off your hair and pretty much starting all over and letting your hair grow out without the extra fuss. Plus, it get’s straight to the point.

A lot of people aren’t ready for the Big Chop though. I eventually did the big chop and I wasn’t mentally prepared for how my hair was going to look or seeing my hair short! It definitely has to be something you are comfortable with. If you aren’t comfortable, look at the previous option.

Do what works best for YOU and your lifestyle. If you want easy breezy, opt for a big chop. If you don’t mind putting in some work, you can be a long term transitioner. Happy Transitioning!

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Lauren Stewart
By: Lauren Stewart

Lauren Stewart is a freelancer writer from Michigan. She enjoys writing about beauty, health and fitness! She is passionate about learning new ways to take control of her health and wellness and is a makeup and skincare junkie! You can contact her by emailing lrstewar@gmail.com.